Morning Headlines: Heartbeat Bill Returns to Legislature, Akron Sets Snow Removal Input Meetings

Feb 12, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Feb. 12:

  • Heartbeat bill returns to legislature;
  • More Cleveland workers to make $15 min. wage;
  • Akron sets snow removal input meetings;
  • Editor of Akron Beacon Journal announces retirement;
  • Cleveland Hopkins director explains new drop-off procedure;
  • Keystone Tailored Manufacturing employees walk off the job;
  • Voters set to be purged from rolls will have new chance at registering;
  • Police: Man suspected of abducting student at college;
  • Doctor, hospital face 15th lawsuit over drug doses, deaths;
  • Union, Wright State reach tentative contract agreement;
  • State to ease regulations on drilling brine;

Heartbeat bill returns to legislature
Ohio Republican lawmakers proposed again Monday one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the nation, and this time around, they have the governor's support. New Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated he would sign the so-called heartbeat bill that was twice vetoed by his GOP predecessor. The measure would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Republican Reps. Ron Hood, of Ashville, and Candice Keller, of Middletown, said they filed the latest version of the bill on Monday with 50 cosponsors — a majority of the House.

More Cleveland workers to make $15 min. wage
More Cleveland city workers will make $15 a hour. Cleveland.com reports City Council has approved two labor contracts, bringing to 25 the number of city unions with a $15 minimum wage. There are five agreements left to reach Mayor Frank Jackson’s goal of establishing that wage for all city employees. Out of 7,000 in the city’s workforce, 500 will be affected.

Akron sets snow removal input meetings.
The City of Akron is holding six meetings this month to give residents a chance to give their input about snow removal. Mayor Dan Horrigan established a task force to help improve service after it took crews days to clear streets following a snow storm last month. The first meeting is Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Lawton Community Center on the west side. Others are planned in neighborhoods including Ellet, Kenmore and Firestone Park. The task force is expected to have a set of formal recommendations on March 1.

Akron Beacon Journal editor announces retirement
The editor of the Beacon Journal has announced he’s retiring March 1st. Bruce Winges spent 37 years at the Beacon and served as editor for the past 11. The Beacon Journal and Ohio.com were purchased last year by GateHouse media, which also owns the Columbus Dispatch, the Canton Repository, and the Record-Courier. Record Courier editor Michael Shearer has been tapped to replace Winges. Shearer will also lead GateHouse newsrooms in a regional network that includes eight northeast Ohio communities.

Cleveland Hopkins director explains new drop-off procedure
In an emergency hearing called by Cleveland City Council, Cleveland Hopkins’ Airport director had to explain a new drop-off and pick up procedures. The policy implemented Jan. 1 requires commercial transportation such as Lyft to drop off travelers at remote locations instead of the terminal curbside. Airport director Robert Kennedy explained that the change was an attempt to alleviate traffic congestion. Commercial drivers will once again be able to drop off passengers at the curbside starting Feb. 18.

Keystone Tailored Manufacturing employees walk off the job
Employees at men's suit maker Keystone Tailored Manufacturing in suburban Cleveland walked off the job yesterday. The Brooklyn plant is closing next month, eliminating 140 jobs. Cleveland.com reports employees walked out over severance package negotiations and in solidarity with union members at a plant in Illinois which receives suits from Keystone. Employees there also walked off the job Monday amid contact negotiations. 

Voters purged from rolls will have new chance at registering
Secretary of State Frank LaRose said he is reaching out to Ohioans who were recently purged from Ohio's voting rolls. A spokesperson for LaRose said Monday that he will reach out to an estimated 267,000 Ohioans who were removed in January after not responding to a "last chance" notice from predecessor Jon Husted. Cleveland.com reports LaRose plans to send voter registration cards to every voter who was purged. 

Police: Man suspected of abducting student at college
Police said a man is suspected of abducting a female student from Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus. Skylar Williams was in a parking lot around noon Monday when she was approached by a male suspect known to her. Police say the man displayed a handgun, forced the student into his vehicle and fled with her. Authorities located the vehicle but are searching for the student and the suspect.

Doctor, hospital face 15th lawsuit over drug doses, deaths
A 15th wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed against a Columbus-area hospital system and a now-fired intensive care doctor who's under investigation for ordering possibly fatal pain medication doses for dozens of patients. Many of the lawsuits allege patients in the Mount Carmel Health System received lethal doses of the powerful painkiller fentanyl ordered by Dr. William Husel without families knowing. But the case filed Monday over the September death of 58-year-old Donald McClung alleges he was given a lethal dose of another opioid, hydromorphone, known by the brand name Dilaudid.

Union, Wright State reach tentative contract agreement
A tentative contract agreement has been reached between Wright State University's administration and its faculty union's executive committee. The agreement ended a 20-day strike on Monday. Faculty members began picketing over issues including health care. The Board of Trustees voted Monday to approve two consecutive labor contracts that run through June 2023. All university employees will have a unified health care plan and gives faculty members a 2.5 percent general salary increase for the final two years of the agreement. But the university will have the ability to furlough union faculty members one day per semester as a cost-savings measure, and reduce summer teaching pay.

State to ease regulations on drilling brine
State lawmakers are poised to ease regulations on the use of drilling brine as a road deicer despite a report that shows it contains high levels of radioactive materials. Cleveland.com reports that the state’s Environmental Safety Section last year tested 14 samples of the commercial product known as AquaSalina and found high levels of Radium. State lawmakers reject the findings and are set to pass a bill approving the use of the drilling brine on roads and waive further testing for radium and other heavy metals. The bill introduced by Republican Senator Matt Dolan of Chagrin Falls mirrors a similar bill passed last session by the Ohio House. Around one million gallons of the drilling brine solution are spread on Ohio roads each year.

More Cleveland city workers will make $15 a hour. City Council has approved two labor contracts, bringing to 25 the number of city unions with a $15 minimum wage. There are five agreements left to reach Mayor Frank Jackson’s goal of establishing that wage for all city employees. Out of 7,000 in the city’s workforce, 500 will be affected.